A Seven-Hundred Mile Fence

19:55 Tue 19 Feb 2008. Updated: 06:22 25 Aug 2009
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It’s mind-boggling to me that the United States is actually trying to build a fence between itself and Mexico. I mean, really. A fence? A fence seven hundred miles long?

The amount of money required to construct something like that is staggering; the amount required to staff and maintain it adequately is equally staggering. But then, that may be the real point. It’s not that the fence is the best answer to illegal immigration/smuggling, it’s that the fence is a highly-visible answer that seems like it might work if you don’t think about it, that pushes a ton of money into the military-security complex, and that drags the country closer to authoritarianism.

“Land of the Free/Home of the Brave/From Sea to Shining Sea/From Border Fence to Border Fence”?

I really can’t get over the comparisons with the Berlin Wall, but I guess that just means I’m a pointy-headed intellectual who’s stuck in the past and isn’t adequately aware of the dangers of illegalimmigrantsanddrugdealersandIslamoterrorists (deep breath) dedicatedtooverwhelmingChristianitywithabrowntidalwave, or whatever other bullshit they’re using to justify this latest totalitarian disgrace (I can’t seem to stop thinking “a seven-hundred mile fence!”, and can’t seem to believe that this line alone wouldn’t make people think twice about it).

Its status as a total joke (in terms of efficacy, not in terms of denying its horrific nature) is reinforced by shocking revelations that it will bypass the lands of the rich and powerful. Priceless, really, and they don’t even try to hide it. I mean, the damn thing goes through the land of one unconnected family and then simply stops right afterwards because the next land along belongs to some oil bigshot. Yet another project that’s simply breathtaking in its hubris, expense, wrong-headedness, inefficiency, and authoritarianism.

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